What Is Bioidentical Hormone Therapy?
Curious about bioidentical hormone therapy? Read on to learn more about this type of treatment. The hormones used in bioidentical hormone therapy, also known as bioidentical hormone replacement treatment (BHRT), are chemically and structurally indistinguishable from the hormones the body normally makes. Hormone imbalances, such as those caused by menopause, andropause, or thyroid abnormalities, may cause uncomfortable side effects, which BHRT can alleviate.
An overview of bioidentical hormone therapy
Bioidentical hormone therapy is an individualized method of care that considers each patient's specific hormone levels and therapeutic goals. As opposed to conventional HRT, which employs synthetic hormones that are not chemically identical to those naturally generated by the body, BHRT uses hormones that are chemically identical to those that the body naturally produces.
BHRT uses hormones such as estrogen, progesterone, and testosterone, and it is typically administered in the form of pills, patches, creams, and even injections.
Applications of BHRT
Menopause, andropause, thyroid disorders, and adrenal exhaustion are just some of the conditions that BHRT may help. Hot flashes, night sweats, mood changes, and vaginal dryness are some of the most common signs of menopause. BHRT can help reduce these symptoms since it helps replenish hormones that drop out after menopause.
For males, a lack of libido, impotence, and exhaustion are the hallmarks of andropause. The use of BHRT can also alleviate these symptoms. The treatment works by increasing testosterone production. BHRT may also help with thyroid conditions including hypothyroidism and hyperthyroidism.
Benefits of bioidentical hormone therapy
BHRT's primary benefit is that it is a non-invasive, all-natural approach that employs hormones that are bio-identical to those generated by the body. This difference may help lessen the risk of breast cancer, heart disease, and stroke, all of which have been linked to standard HRT.
The adaptability of BHRT is another of its many benefits. BHRT is modifiable to meet the specific requirements of each patient, since both their hormone levels and their specific symptoms are likely to vary. This individualized strategy can potentially provide patients with more symptom alleviation and overall higher quality of life.
Eligibility for BHRT
The healthcare provider will review the advantages and drawbacks of using hormone treatment with the patient before making a choice. Although many bioidentical hormones currently lack FDA approval, the doctor may still recommend them if they seem the best option.
Hormone treatment may not be suitable for patients who have or are at high risk of conditions like blood clotting disorders, cardiovascular illness or heart disease, breast cancer, and stroke.
Patients thinking about BHRT should see a healthcare physician with experience providing bioidentical hormones. A doctor or other medical professional may assess a patient's hormone demands and help decide whether BHRT is a viable choice for treatment.
How bioidentical hormone therapy works
Patients may take BHRT orally, topically, or inject it. Patients' hormone levels and requirements inform the type of hormone, dosage, and delivery method. Individualized BHRT provides more beneficial symptom alleviation than standard HRT.
Healthcare practitioners regularly monitor patients receiving hormone therapy. The objective is to alleviate symptoms in the shortest time with the lowest dose of medication. Depending on the healthcare provider's preference, hormone levels are monitored using periodic urine, blood, or saliva tests. The doses may require adjustments as the body’s demands change.
Due to daily fluctuations in normal hormone levels, the FDA advises against utilizing hormone levels to determine the dose of hormone treatment in women. Salivary hormone levels, for instance, are known to fluctuate and the link to menopausal symptoms is unproven.
There is no set timeframe for how long it will take for bioidentical hormones to start working. Some individuals may see some minor improvement within a few weeks. Three months is the average time it takes to experience the full effects of hormone treatment.
It is important to remember that BHRT, like any other medical therapy, might have unwanted side effects, including acne, weight gain, emotional instability, and breast soreness. It is also important to note that BHRT may not be the best option for certain individuals, especially those with a history of disorders like breast cancer.
The bottom line
Bioidentical hormone therapy is an effective and individualized solution for hormonal abnormalities. In order to alleviate the symptoms of menopause, andropause, and thyroid abnormalities, BHRT uses hormones that are chemically equivalent to those naturally generated by the body.
Despite these benefits, patients should consult their doctors about BHRT’s risks and adverse effects before starting therapy. Many people may benefit from BHRT's individualized approach to hormone treatment, which can enhance their quality of life and alleviate their symptoms.
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